So as not to get up two times: a double exhibition of George Kondo in London

The author of “artificial cubism,” the American George Kondo, after a life change, not only changed his views on his art, but also strategically distributed forces throughout London. In February, a massive attack began on indifferent citizens who are not indifferent to the art - two of his exhibitions opened in the British capital at once. The Scarstedt Gallery with undisguised pleasure (as stated in the press release) opened the exposition of his new ink works on paper (Kondo suddenly changed his addiction to oil and canvas). And almost the same did the gallery of Simon Lee, announcing a solo exhibition of the artist.The name of Kondo (George Condo) for a long time became familiar in the art party: in the 80s he became friends with the inhabitants of the Andy Warhol factory (Andy Warhol) - artists Julian Schnabel (Julian Schnabel), Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jean Keith Hurting (Keith Haring), and also collaborated with cult beatniks - Burroughs and Ginsberg. A documentary film was made about him, and today Kondo is considered deservedly famous for centuries, even among the vague and changing priorities of modern art. In any case, his works were purchased even for the collection of the Queen of Great Britain, and the exhibitions are held in the largest museums of the world.

The most famous are his works, which look like the works of old European masters, but contain some kind of grotesque modern detail: Rembrandt turns into a smoking clown, Frans Hals becomes a twisted waiter. How do you like the “portraits” - the fictional characters of the environment of a non-existent character, and the mythical Jean-Louis himself, depicted in the style of cubism? Today, Kondo does not shy away from commerce: he designed the cover for the rapper Kanye West's album and models of bags for Kim Kardashian.

Once George Kondo described his work as “artificial realism”, but today he says that this is “psychological cubism”. The fact is that the presented works were created in spring-summer last year. And in the midst of this period, in May, the artist was on the verge of life and death: he says the immune system failed and he felt “strange”. “How, even more strange than usual?” - the question suggests itself when you look at his extremely expressive works. Then his health began to deteriorate: Kondo arrived in Berlin, where he was hospitalized with triple pneumonia after becoming infected with legionnaires' disease. He raved for several days, lost 7 kilograms and, according to his confession, “almost died”.The presented works in the recognizable manner of the artist (a mix of Disney cartoons and plots by Francis Bacon (Francis Bacon)) depict people whom the weakened artist saw in hospital hallucinations, as well as metaphorical figures, images of internal fragmentation. These are very disturbing pictures, they inspire discomfort. But should art be comfortable?
Prepared by Julia Vlaskina